If you've got braces, you know how important it is to make sure that you take care of them, and that means maintaining a good oral care regimen. Failure to do so can prolong your treatment and lead to cavities and periodontal disease like gingivitis.

In the event that this is your first time with orthodontic braces, you could be a bit confused as to how to keep them clean. However, by following the three tips below, removing any unwanted bits of food, you're teeth will stay in tip-top shape.

1) Purchase a good toothpaste
You may notice that when you're in the grocery store, you have option to buy toothpaste with or without fluoride. If you think it doesn't matter which you select, think again. This compound plays a major role in preventing tooth decay and can help strengthen pearly whites that have been weakened due to the consumption of foods that are high in acid like soda and lemons.

2) Brush immediately after eating
Many people underestimate what brushing right after consuming food can do. They may think that there's no harm in waiting to do so until they get home. However, cleaning your teeth immediately after a meal will help rid your teeth of residue that can get trapped in between your braces if you wait.

3) Use gentle strokes
Dental orthodontists will tell you that brushing too hard is not effective in removing particles from in between your teeth or stuck in the brackets of your braces. Using a soft touch is recommended. Angle your toothbrush 45 degrees and move it forward and backward along your braces. Also remember to delicately scrub your tongue and even the roof of your mouth, as these areas, though they are brace-free, are also important to your overall health.

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